March 31, 2010
Iranian news websites report that Sasi Mankan, an underground rapper, was arrested over the weekend during a trip to Kish Island in southern Iran, but the rapper himself has denied the news of his arrest.
On a fan page on Facebook, Mankan wrote that the news was only a rumor, although he said he was questioned when visiting Kish last year.
The initial media reports today quoted a senior police official in Kish as saying that Mankan had an “indecent appearance,” and “performed repulsive and obscene [dance] moves in a shopping center in Kish.” He said Mankan’s arrest was not political, and was aimed instead at restoring order, and added that police had received complaints from people who were offended by Mankan’s actions. (See a report in Persian .)
Meanwhile, another Iranian underground rapper, Hichkas (which means “nobody,”) has released a to mark the Iranian New Year. The song shares a message of hope with Iranians after months of political turmoil, including the crackdown that followed last year’s disputed presidential vote and increasingly repressive measures by the government.
The name of the song is “Yek ruz khub miad” — meaning “a good/new day will come.”
Some excerpts from the lyrics:
A new day will come
When we won’t kill each other
When we will stop mistrusting each other
When we will be friends
When we will move to hold each others’ [hands]
Just like at elementary school when we were children
None of us will be jobless
We will all build our country Iran
So we don’t get tired, I will place the first stone and you the cement
After this rain of blood, the rainbow will finally appear.
As long as I can remember, this land has always been the land of “Neda” — [a voice or message] — that a new day will come when there won’t be chaos anymore. [Neda is also the name of a young woman who was killed in the postelection crackdown and has become one of the icons of the opposition movement.]
Instead we will give each other [sweets] and we will be all happy, everything will be perfect. We will only miss our friends who are not with us anymore.
I feel like Bam [an Iranian city that was destroyed in a major 2003 earthquake which left over 2,000 dead] or like Hiroshima after the bomb. I’m burning and singing this — you might think I’m crazy but I know a new day will come.
“” (Difference), another song by Hichkas, was featured in Bahman Ghobadi’s “No One Knows About Persian Cats,” a film that explores Iran’s underground music scene.
– Golnaz Esfandiari